Mobile Upstarts Continue to Challenge Wireless Status Quo

probably NOT the Gphone

(Relax, it’s only a mock-up…)

I guess you could call this Part II in a continuing series of how wireless NKOTB (oops, that’s certainly dating myself!) Apple and Google are already making other mobile manufacturers crap their pants — even though Apple’s iPhone is only (officially) available in the US&A on AT&T , and the Google Phone… Well, it hasn’t even officially been announced yet!

Consider the following timeline of recent events:

I. In an August 29th webcast Nokia suddenly decided that touchscreens weren’t such a bad idea after all, and demoed an interface familiar to anyone who’s seen an iPhone in action:

II. On August 30th shares in BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, Ltd. spiked due to speculation that Microsoft was considering gobbling them up to broaden its line of defense against the rumoured Google Phone. This isn’t the first time such a rumour has been entertained, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense — Windows Mobile already has a strong following in North America and a significant beachhead in Chinese markets, whereas the BlackBerry is only now starting to be sold through carriers there.

Still, the fact that their somewhat fanatical CEO isn’t categorically denying these rumours is kind of odd when you consider that the two companies are arch-rivals in the mobile enterprise email space.

III. This very morning Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint, credited as the man who single-handedly doubled both the company’s shipments and profits, announced his resignation as of November 1st. Perhaps he doesn’t want his stellar track record tarnished by the battles looming on the horizon?

IV. And towards the end of the afternoon (Eastern Time) CEO Ed Colligan personally announced that Palm, Inc. was abandoning its plans for the Foleo “smartphone companion”, at least for the time being.

Late last month Palm was publicly humiliated in a brutal but entirely accurate “Dear Palm” letter on — and with good reason; the Foleo was a stupid idea from the get-go — why would anyone settle for a dumb terminal when they could buy a fully-featured mini laptop for the same price or less? And all the while their Treo line of smartphones have been languishing with a feature set that looks great for 2003. Sure, they’re still popular in North America, but that’s more to do with Palm kowtowing to the carriers here than anything else.

And that’s where we’re at. It’s pretty amazing that the impact of the Google Phone can already be seen, despite the fact that no one even knows exactly what the thing is yet!

More to come…


About Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?
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4 Responses to Mobile Upstarts Continue to Challenge Wireless Status Quo

  1. Ed Miller says:


    Awesome article –I found the links pretty informative.

    When I took the wireless plunge in April, I looked at the Treos that Bell offers, but the clunky sync with my Mac kept my interest to sidelong glances rather than open flirting. If I could sync my Tungsten E2 with my G5 without having to go back to both the Palm calendar and iCalendar and correct the category changes, I’d be happy. I get a lot of sync alerts, which crop each time I cancel an alert at different times on both devices, too.

    I’m not likely to dip into the wireless pool until 2010, but I am hoping that they’ll have a device that can replace my cell and Tungsten, behave nicely with my Mac, and come with a fee structure that doesn’t poleax my finances….


  2. Ed Miller says:


    Just a follow-up. This item made it to the MacLife blog:

    To support your previous posts about overly high wireless rates in Canada, the man behind Canuck Hack 07 thinks he’d pay about $700 per month…


  3. AC says:

    Aw Ed, you’re not getting your news from the Izzy Asper, are you? Don’t you know they’re responsible for the war in Iraq?

    All your GTA news needs can be satiated right here:

  4. Ed Miller says:


    Nope, I’m Post- and CanWest-free in my news and information gathering. But MacLife isn’t, so I’ll start the conspiracy theory right here: Steve Jobs started the war in Iraq in order to sell iPods to US troops.


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